Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail In Michigan

Here is everything you need to know about the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Michigan
  • Length: 0.5 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: Michigan Department of Natural Resources
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/wisconsin/potawatomi-gorge-falls-trail

The Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail holds a significant historical background that dates back centuries. This trail is located in the beautiful Potawatomi State Park, situated in Door County, Wisconsin. The Potawatomi people, a Native American tribe, have a deep connection to this area, as it was once their ancestral homeland.

The Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail was originally used by the Potawatomi tribe for various purposes. They utilized this trail for hunting, gathering resources, and traveling between their villages. The Potawatomi people had a profound understanding of the land and its resources, and this trail served as a vital lifeline for their community.

During the 19th century, European settlers began to encroach upon the Potawatomi territory, leading to conflicts and forced removals. The Potawatomi people were eventually relocated to reservations in other parts of the country, leaving behind their ancestral lands, including the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail.

Today, the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail stands as a testament to the rich history and cultural heritage of the Potawatomi people. It serves as a reminder of their deep connection to the land and their resilience in the face of adversity. Visitors to this trail can experience the natural beauty of the area while also acknowledging the historical significance it holds for the Potawatomi tribe.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Potawatomi Trailhead: This is the main access point for the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail. It is located at the Potawatomi State Park in Door County, Wisconsin.

2. Gorge Falls Trailhead: This trailhead is located within the Potawatomi State Park and serves as the starting point for the Gorge Falls Trail, which is a part of the larger Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail.

3. Observation Tower Trailhead: This access point is located near the Observation Tower within the Potawatomi State Park. It provides a starting point for hikers who want to explore the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail.

4. Sunset Trailhead: The Sunset Trailhead is another access point along the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail. It is located within the Potawatomi State Park and offers a scenic starting point for hikers.

5. Lighthouse Trailhead: This access point is located near the Potawatomi Lighthouse within the Potawatomi State Park. Hikers can start their journey on the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail from here.

6. Tower Drive Trailhead: Tower Drive Trailhead is located near Tower Drive within the Potawatomi State Park. It provides an entry point for hikers to access the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail.

7. Nicolet Bay Trailhead: This access point is located near Nicolet Bay within the Potawatomi State Park. Hikers can start their journey on the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail from here.

8. Hemlock Trailhead: Hemlock Trailhead is located near the Hemlock Trail within the Potawatomi State Park. It serves as an access point for hikers to join the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail. There may be additional smaller access points or trailheads along the trail as well.

Transportation Available

1. Uber – On-demand ridesharing service.
2. Lyft – Ride-hailing service connecting passengers with drivers.
3. Taxi – Traditional taxi service for convenient transportation.
4. Bus – Public transportation service with scheduled routes.
5. Bike Rental – Rent bicycles for exploring the area.
6. Car Rental – Rent a car for personal transportation.
7. Shuttle Service – Shared transportation service to specific destinations.
8. Limousine Service – Luxury transportation service for special occasions.
9. Train – Rail service for longer distance travel.
10. Airport Shuttle – Transportation service to and from the airport.


The amenities available at the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail may vary, but here are some common amenities you might find:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available at the trailhead or along the trail. These could be permanent structures or portable toilets.

2. Parking: There should be designated parking areas for visitors to park their vehicles while accessing the trail. These parking lots may have a capacity limit.

3. Camping Sites: Depending on the trail regulations and management, there might be designated camping sites available nearby. These sites could have amenities like fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water.

4. Picnic Areas: There may be designated picnic areas along the trail or near the trailhead. These areas could have picnic tables, benches, and trash bins for visitors to enjoy a meal or rest.

5. Trailhead Facilities: The trailhead might have additional amenities such as information boards, maps, and interpretive signs to provide visitors with information about the trail and its surroundings.

6. Drinking Water: Some trails may have drinking water stations or fountains available for visitors to refill their water bottles. However, it’s always a good idea to bring your own water supply.

7. Trash Receptacles: To maintain cleanliness, there should be trash receptacles available at various points along the trail or at the trailhead. Visitors are encouraged to dispose of their waste properly.

8. Signage: The trail should have clear signage indicating trail markers, distances, and any specific rules or regulations that visitors need to follow.

It’s important to note that the availability of these amenities can vary depending on the specific trail management and location. It’s always a good idea to check with the local park or trail authority for the most up-to-date information on amenities available at the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Lodging:
– Potawatomi Inn – A cozy inn located within the state park, offering comfortable accommodations for visitors.
– Pokagon State Park Campground – A campground with various camping options, including RV sites and tent camping.

2. Food Services:
– Potawatomi Inn Restaurant – A restaurant located within the inn, serving a variety of delicious meals.
– Pokagon State Park Snack Bar – A convenient snack bar offering quick bites and refreshments.

3. Emergency Services:
– Angola Fire Department – Local fire department providing emergency services to the area.
– Cameron Memorial Community Hospital – A nearby hospital offering emergency medical care.

Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail Difficulty Notes

The Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail offers a moderate difficulty level for hikers. The trail spans approximately 2.5 miles and features a variety of terrains, including rocky paths, steep inclines, and occasional muddy sections. Hikers will encounter several sets of stairs and wooden bridges along the way, adding to the challenge. The highlight of the trail is the stunning Gorge Falls, which requires a short but steep descent to reach. While the trail may pose some physical exertion, it is well-maintained and offers beautiful views of the surrounding forest, making it a rewarding and enjoyable hike for those seeking a moderate challenge.

Features And Attractions

The Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail is located in the Potawatomi State Park in Wisconsin. Along this trail, you can find several scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable points of interest along the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail:

1. Gorge Falls: This trail is named after the beautiful Gorge Falls, which is a stunning waterfall cascading down a rocky gorge. It is a popular spot for photography and offers a picturesque view.

2. Observation Tower: As you hike along the trail, you will come across an observation tower. Climbing to the top of the tower provides a panoramic view of the surrounding forest and Lake Michigan.

3. Limestone Kiln: Near the trail, you can find the remnants of an old limestone kiln. This historical site offers a glimpse into the area’s past and the importance of limestone in the region.

4. Scenic Overlooks: The trail offers several scenic overlooks that provide breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. These overlooks offer a great opportunity to take in the beauty of Lake Michigan and the park’s natural surroundings.

5. Forested Areas: The trail winds through dense forests, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature. The forested areas are home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, deer, and other small animals.

6. Rock Formations: Along the trail, you may encounter interesting rock formations, such as cliffs and outcroppings. These geological features add to the scenic beauty of the area.

7. Wildlife Viewing: The Potawatomi State Park is known for its diverse wildlife. While hiking the trail, keep an eye out for various bird species, including bald eagles, as well as other animals like squirrels, rabbits, and more.

8. Lake Michigan Beach: The Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail is located near the shores of Lake Michigan. After your hike, you can relax on the beach, enjoy the cool breeze, and take in the stunning views of the lake.

These are just a few of the scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and other attractions you can experience along the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail. Exploring this trail will provide you with a memorable outdoor adventure.

Usage Guidelines

– Pets are allowed on the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail but must be kept on a leash at all times.
– Visitors are required to stay on designated trails and not venture off the marked path.
– Camping or overnight stays are not permitted along the trail.
– Open fires and smoking are strictly prohibited.
– Littering is not allowed; visitors must carry out all trash and dispose of it properly.
– Hunting or trapping is not permitted on the trail.
– Bicycles, motorized vehicles, and horses are not allowed on the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail.
– Swimming or wading in the river or waterfalls is not allowed.
– Visitors should be cautious and stay away from the edges of cliffs or steep drop-offs.
– During the winter season, the trail may be closed or have limited access due to hazardous conditions.

Seasonal Information

The Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail, located in the beautiful Potawatomi State Park in Wisconsin, offers visitors a stunning natural experience throughout the year. Each season brings its own unique charm and activities, making it a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

One of the best times to visit the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail is during the spring season. As the snow melts and temperatures rise, the trail comes alive with vibrant colors and blooming wildflowers. The rushing waterfalls and cascades are at their fullest during this time, creating a picturesque and serene atmosphere. Spring also offers pleasant weather for hiking, with mild temperatures and lower humidity levels. It’s a great time to explore the trail and witness the rejuvenation of nature after the winter months.

Summer is another popular time to visit the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail. The lush greenery and warm weather make it ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, picnicking, and birdwatching. The trail provides ample shade, allowing visitors to enjoy the natural beauty while staying cool. However, it’s important to note that summer can be busy, especially on weekends and holidays, so it’s advisable to arrive early to secure parking and avoid crowds.

During the fall season, the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail transforms into a breathtaking display of autumn colors. The surrounding trees and foliage turn vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow, creating a picturesque backdrop for hikers. The cooler temperatures and crisp air make it an enjoyable time to explore the trail, and the scenic beauty is truly a sight to behold.

It’s worth mentioning that the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail may have seasonal closures or limited accessibility during the winter months. Heavy snowfall and icy conditions can make the trail unsafe for hiking. However, if you’re a fan of winter activities, Potawatomi State Park offers opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in designated areas. It’s always recommended to check with the park authorities for the latest trail conditions and closures before planning your visit.


1. Wheelchair Accessibility: The Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail offers wheelchair accessibility, allowing individuals with mobility challenges to explore the trail comfortably.
2. Paved Pathways: The trail features paved pathways, ensuring a smooth and accessible surface for wheelchair users and individuals with mobility aids.
3. Handrails: Handrails are installed along certain sections of the trail, providing additional support and stability for individuals with balance or mobility issues.
4. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms are available near the trailhead, equipped with features such as grab bars and wider doorways to accommodate wheelchair users.
5. Accessible Parking: The trail offers designated accessible parking spaces near the trailhead, allowing individuals with disabilities to easily access the trail.
6. Signage: Clear and visible signage is present along the trail, providing information and directions in accessible formats, including braille and large print.
7. Benches and Rest Areas: The trail includes benches and rest areas at regular intervals, providing opportunities for individuals with mobility challenges to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
8. Assistance Animals: Service animals are permitted on the trail, ensuring individuals with disabilities have the necessary support during their visit.
9. Accessible Picnic Areas: Accessible picnic areas are available near the trail, featuring tables with wheelchair clearance and accessible grills for individuals to enjoy outdoor dining.
10. Accessibility Information: The trail provides comprehensive accessibility information on their website or at the trailhead, offering details on the various accommodations available to visitors with disabilities.

Safety Information

When visiting the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail, it is important to keep the following safety information in mind:

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked trails and avoid venturing off the designated path. Straying from the trail can lead to accidents, damage to the environment, and disturbance to wildlife.

2. Wear appropriate footwear: The trail can be uneven and slippery, especially near the falls. Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes or hiking boots with good traction to prevent slips and falls.

3. Be cautious near the water: The Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail features waterfalls and streams. Exercise caution when near the water, as rocks can be slippery and currents may be strong. Avoid climbing on wet rocks or entering the water if you are unsure of the conditions.

4. Watch out for wildlife: The trail is home to various wildlife species. While observing animals can be exciting, maintain a safe distance and do not approach or feed them. Respect their natural habitat and do not disturb or provoke them.

5. Carry essential supplies: Bring water, snacks, and any necessary medications with you. It is also advisable to carry a map, compass, or GPS device to help navigate the trail. Additionally, pack sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first aid kit for any emergencies.

6. Check weather conditions: Before heading out, check the weather forecast for the area. Avoid the trail during severe weather conditions such as thunderstorms, heavy rain, or high winds, as they can make the trail hazardous.

7. Inform someone of your plans: Let a friend or family member know about your visit to the trail, including your expected return time. This way, someone will be aware of your whereabouts in case of an emergency.

8. Leave no trace: Respect the environment and leave no trace of your visit. Carry out all trash and dispose of it properly. Avoid littering and do not disturb plants, rocks, or other natural features.

Remember, safety should always be a priority when exploring nature. By following these guidelines, you can have an enjoyable and safe experience on the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail.

Conservation Notes

The conservation status of the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail is considered to be well-maintained and protected. The trail is located within the Potawatomi State Park in Wisconsin, which is managed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. As a designated state park, the area is subject to strict conservation regulations and management practices to ensure the preservation of its natural resources.

Efforts have been made to minimize human impact on the trail and its surrounding environment. The trail is regularly monitored and maintained by park staff to prevent erosion, control invasive species, and preserve the integrity of the ecosystem. Additionally, designated areas for waste disposal and recycling are provided to minimize litter and pollution.

The Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail is known for its scenic beauty, including the picturesque gorge and waterfalls along the route. To protect these natural features, visitors are encouraged to stay on designated trails and avoid venturing off into sensitive areas. Educational signage is placed along the trail to raise awareness about the importance of conservation and to promote responsible hiking practices.

Overall, the conservation status of the Potawatomi-Gorge Falls Trail is considered to be in good condition, thanks to the efforts of park management and the cooperation of visitors in preserving the natural beauty and ecological balance of the area.

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